See more photos in Jena Ardell's slideshow “311 Cruises with Fans to Turks and Caicos.”
There is no doubt 311's fan base aboard the Caribbean Cruise to Turks and Caicos grew last weekend, thanks to the 24-hour all-you-can-eat buffet and all-inclusive restaurants aboard the Carnival Destiny, where 311 and 3,000 fans from all 50 U.S. states and 13 countries partied hard for four days at sea.
Members of 311 stood on their balconies, welcoming fans as they boarded the ship.
311 kicked off their first onboard concert as the ship was leaving the Port of Miami.
The setlist included “Slinky” and “Tribute,” as well as rarities like “Jupiter” and “Guns (are for pussies),” which was last played on June 15, 2000.
Afterward, fans returned to their cabins to find some sweet 311 swag next to their origami towel animal and Carnival chocolates. In addition to receiving nifty 311 luggage tags in the mail a week prior to the ship's sail date, everyone onboard was given a free beach towel with a large 311 anchor logo printed on it and a navy blue 311 Caribbean Cruise bag. Despite the free gifts, fans flocked to the merch store, where the entire allocated stock of onboard 311 tee shirts sold out within a few hours.
Four fans traveled from as far as Australia to attend the cruise, whose onboard population was primarily from California (275 fans). Puerto Rico and Vermont tied with the lowest amount of fans represented, each only producing one fan.
Celebfan Venus Williams was spotted singing a Black Eyed Peas song during one of the late-night karaoke sessions aboard the ship.
Williams also entered the 311 Karaoke contest judged by 311 frontman Nick Hexum, where she and three friends sang “You Wouldn't Believe” and even added a bit of choreography.
Although William's performance was well-received, she lost the contest to a fellow 311 fan.
One fan jumped on the opportunity to sell a video of Williams' performance to TMZ.com.
Two fans, who met at the 311 fan party in Miami one night prior to boarding the cruise, got hitched when they reached Grand Turk. Luckily, for their families' sake, their marriage is not recognized in the United States.
Some fans decorated their cabin doors, while others decorated themselves, in attempt to be more memorable.
There was a plethora of creative, homemade 311 shirts and accessories. The most identifiable was the 311 cheerleader duo, who wore matching 311 cheerleader uniforms for the majority of the trip, complete with pom-poms, sparkly high ponytails and color-coordinated ribbons.
The duo even sported identical black 311 bikinis while on Grand Turk. Not sure whether a natural aversion to cheerleaders prevented us from finding this attention stunt to be more clever than creepy.
You can view the 311 Cheerleaders Facebook fan page here and judge for yourself.
The guy with a beach towel from dicktowel.com wrapped around his waist also caught a lot of attention (and laughs).
Another memorable character was the fan who dressed like Bernie from Weekend at Bernie's and dragged his feet across the Lido deck.
Creative costuming was no match for the most-mentioned person aboard the ship–a brazen fan who is lucky to be alive after jumping from his level six balcony while the ship was docked in Grand Turk.
The jumper suffered minor leg and back injuries but was able to swim to shore, where he was admitted to a hospital, then flown home, missing his scheduled 311 concert aboard the ship.
Most fans booked excursions like snorkeling and horseback riding while on Grand Turk, while others relaxed in the turquoise waters of the Atlantic or wiped out on Flowrider, a simulated surfing experience.
Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville was a popular hangout, where fans chilling at the poolside bar at chanted “311, 3, 3, 11!” every time the resident DJ spun a non-311 song.
Sixthman, a cruise coordinating firm and activity committee, was the perfect host to 311's eclectic, and at times rowdy, crowd.
Jason T. Walters of Tears of Joy was spotted mingling with fans in the Singles Party.
Sixthman organized onboard activities like Beers & Bingo, 311 Trivia, canonball and belly flop contests, flip cup and ping pong tournaments, Rockband and Guitar Hero sessions, and morning yoga with Full Service's frontman Bonesaw.
311 fans were able to cash in with $1311 and $600 prizes during Beers & Bingo and, according to Andy Levine of Sixthman, one fan won $32,000 while playing Blackjack in the onboard casino.
Although fans were split into halves and assigned a particular indoor concert inside the ship's intimate Palladium stage, some managed to sneak into both shows.
Fans attending night one's show were most excited to hear “Uncalm,” “I'll be here a while,” “Don't Stay Home,” “Random” and “Sun Come Through.” While fans attending night two's show were most happy with “Gap,” “Rub a dub,” “Stealing Happy Hours,” “Use of Time” and “Mindspin.”
Fans attending night two's show also had the opportunity to see a extremely rare debut performance of “Coda,” a bonus track from 311's album Evolver.
Attendees of the show can thank Ronald, the fan who prompted the impromptu performance by constantly shouting “CODA!” during PNUT's extended bass solo.
PNUT responded with “OK,” removed his ear buds and knelt down at center stage, where he performed a song many only dreamed of seeing live.
Each show was simulcast in ship's Criterion Lounge, where fans sang, danced, cheered and chanted for an encore, as if they were in front of the real deal.
Most fans felt night two's setlist was far superior to night one's setlist.
One ungrateful female fan went so far as parading around in a homemade shirt that said “I got fucked on the 311 cruise… because I was at night one.”
This experience should teach those given the option of back-to-back shows to always opt for night two (DUH).
In addition to two 311 concerts, fans aboard the cruise were able to attend multiple shows of Pepper, DJ Soulman, Pato Banton, The Expendables, The Movement, Full Service and Trailer Park Ninjas.
Comedians Doug Benson and Graham Elwood performed two nights of comedy. Benson was spotted cruising the 6th floor, which was blanketed by a constant cloud of marijuana smoke for the majority of the trip.
311 fans were able to interact with their heroes during scheduled events like a DJ set spun by SA Martinez and a basketball game against 311's biggest Lakers fan, PNUT.
Selected fans were able to ask questions during a Q&A session with the band.
When asked how many 311 love-babies were thought to have been produced aboard the ship, Chad Sexton responded with “Three hundred and eleven.”
Fans were eager to ask about the future of the band, since the majority of its members are now proud fathers.
PNUT reassured fans that “[311 will keep making music] as long as people keep inventing ears.”
After announcing fans can expect another 311 Cruise in the future, 311 debuted two songs, “Wild Nights” and “Time Bomb”, from their upcoming album.
The most awesome opportunity aboard the ship was the photo op with the band, where attendees were able to have a professional portrait shot with their cabin mates and the entire band. Once on land, fans were able to download high resolution files of their 311 portrait.
Fans were rushed off the stage by event coordinators who literally pushed people past the band after the photo was taken, but in those thirty brief, unforgettable seconds, every member of 311 reached out to shake the hands of their fans and say a personal thank you.
Members of 311, except Hexum who stayed in Florida to vacation on his private island in Summerland Key, immediately flew back to Los Angeles after the ship docked in Miami.
If you missed out on the biggest 311 event to date, don't worry–there's always next year. 311 members and Sixthman have already confirmed another 311 Cruise will set sail in the future. Start a 311 Cruise fund now!
If you're still feeling famished for a 311 sandwich, another epic 311 event is right around the corner.
311 will host its first multi-day music and camping festival–The Pow Wow Festival–at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in northern Florida, where 311 will play four sets, including the album Transistor in its entirety.
Tickets for this event go on sale TODAY. More info can be found here: www.311POWWOWFESTIVAL.com. Happy 3-11 Day!